Thursday, October 01, 2009

Consequences of Sin by Clare Langley-Hawthorne

Title: Consequences of Sin
Author: Clare Langley-Hawthorne
ISBN: 9780143112938, Penguin Books, 2007
Genre: Amateur Sleuth, #1 Ursula Marlow mystery
Rating: B-

First Line: When the telephone rang downstairs so early that Saturday morning, Ursula Marlow knew it could only be bad news.

The year is 1910. Ursula "Sully" Marlow is a year out of Oxford and wants to be a serious journalist. Unfortunately the magazines and journals she applies to all view her as a society girl, and now her father is demanding that she find herself a husband. Ursula has no intentions of getting married, and in between suffragette meetings, she still applies for various positions of employment.

When a fellow suffragette and friend is accused of murder, Ursula sees that very little is being done by the police to find the truth, and she vows to carry out her own investigation to uncover the murderer. It doesn't take long for her to find out that her own father has connections to the murder victim and to a strange expedition to Venezuela that occurred twenty years previously.

Consequences of Sin is a promising start to the series. Ursula has led such a privileged, sheltered life that she "talks the talk" but finds it much more difficult to "walk the walk." I did find her tiresome on occasion-- shooting off her mouth when she didn't know what she was talking about and with the tendency to be brave one second and fall into a swoon the next. Hopefully she'll mature a bit and truly have the chops to be a good amateur sleuth. She's got the right ingredients. She just needs seasoning.

Langley-Hawthorne does a good job with the time period and the setting, and she's put an interesting romance in the mix by way of Lord Wrotham, the Marlows' solicitor. Hopefully it won't be so easy to figure out whodunit next time because I have the next book in the series, The Serpent and the Scorpion, on my bookshelf. I am interested in seeing how the character of Ursula grows.


  1. I have this on my shelves now too, courtesy Bernadette

  2. This certainly does sound like an interesting series debut. Like you, I respect an author who does time period well, so I look forward to trying this : ).

  3. Sounds like an interesting (and promising) new series. :)

    ~ Wendi

  4. I'm quite a fan of this series! I love the time period and I like Ursula. I think she's intelligent and tries to make a difference. I hope you'll read the second book. I can't wait until the third one comes out!


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